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Atul Patankar

‘Finance Ministry gets bulk of RTI queries’

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Atul Patankar

As reported at www.expressbuzz.com on 18 March 2009

 

CHENNAI: The government of India’s Finance Ministry attracts the largest number of Right To Information (RTI) queries under the RTI ACT, said Justice Wajahat Habibullah, chief information commissioner, Central Information Commission at a press meet here on Tuesday.

 

He said the Finance Ministry received the highest number of queries because it handled the portfolios such as Income Tax Department, Insurance and Banking among other things.

 

This had also been the factor why the department also recorded the largest number of denials as much of the information sought, including account details of individuals, was classified as personal.

 

He said he did not personally want to define several of these questions as frivolous and change any rules in the Act as sometimes they might not be frivolous and much time was wasted on proving whether it was frivolous or not.

 

But this had only increased the strain on the Commission, as they were not able to clear the cases in proportion to the in flow.

 

``We receive over 15,000 to 16,000 cases per month and are able to clear 1,800 cases in a month. There is an improvement in the disposal rate from clearing an average of around 800 cases before as more umber of information commissions have been linked to the central office,’’ he said.

 

He also cautioned against any amendments for he said that it only created more confusion among the applicants.

 

An advantage of RTI Act was that it had forced several departments including Urban Development Department to put their record in order and archive it in a more organised manner, he explained.

 

Another achievement, he said, was the penetration that RTI Act has had among the rural India.

 

He explained that while there was need for more awareness to be created by the respective State Governments, a study undertaken by a non-government organisation, revealed that an average of two people in every village in India had applied for information under RTI, but the effectiveness of such application was yet to be analysed.

 

Source: http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/story.aspx?Title=%E2%80%98Finance+Ministry+gets+bulk+of+RTI+queries%E2%80%99&artid=w5D0NyHauaQ=&SectionID=lifojHIWDUU=&MainSectionID=lifojHIWDUU=&SEO=Right+To+Information&SectionName=rSY%7C6QYp3kQ=

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sandeepbaheti
He said the Finance Ministry received the highest number of queries because it handled the portfolios such as Income Tax Department, Insurance and Banking among other things.

 

A few days back there was a news article which said that it's Ministry of Home Affairs that receives highest number of RTI applications.

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